Meinrad was born about 797. His father was the noble House of Hohenzollern in Germany. He was educated by the Benedictines. In their company, he was inspired to lead a life of prayer and penance as a hermit.
He took with him a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary to which miraculous powers were attributed. On this account, people followed him, which led him to seek even greater seclusion. Nevertheless, he could not entirely escape those who asked his advice and sought his prayers.
He gave many gifts to the poor, being content simply to be with God. Still, he received visitors with gentleness and kindness.
His little hermitage unfortunately attracted visitors of a sinister kind. The gifts that pilgrims left attracted thieves. Two robbers killed him in 867. After his death, the place where he lived became a famous monastery, Einsiedeln Abbey. Saint Meinrad’s Day is January 21.
He is known as the Martyr of Hospitality.